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Steven Donziger

Prof. Olga Nickole Kuyan

1 Oct 2021

A call to action for human rights protection and for environmental justice
In support of #StevenDonzigerhumanrightslawyer

Over the past time we have all watched Steven Donziger, the human rights lawyer who spent nearly three decades fighting Chevron on behalf of 30,000 people in the Ecuadorian rainforest, has been sentenced to six months in federal prison for “criminal contempt.” We are aware of the profound impact of this sentence and what has followed will be having on Steven, on all of us but especially our colleagues in the US and across Europe as well as our families. We share a deep sense of revulsion at all types of human rights and environmental injustice. As a leadership team, we wanted to acknowledge that we fully appreciate that the fight of Steven Donziger and the sentence against him has opened up a wound for many that will take time to heal.
In line with our strongly held commitment to justice and equality as a Firm we believe passionately that inclusion and complexity are essential values. We also believe that we must be committed to protecting and promoting these values – it is not enough that we simply say we believe in something, we have to take actions that make it a reality. The challenge we face is to galvanize our shared values and our skills and turn them into a catalyst for real and lasting change.

Today the Studio Legale Lauricella has announced about its investment into human rights and integral ecology research to support the important work done overworld in furtherance of inclusion and environmental justice. We do not regard this as a comprehensive solution – it is an initial but tangible step. There remains a daily need to further inclusion across our organisation through the work of our affinity groups, policies, programmes and reporting and – perhaps most importantly – how we treat and respect each other every day. We are also exploring what options are available to us to support affected communities through our pro bono work.

It is also important for us to recognise that events like these are not unique to the US but are a reality for people across the world.
The impact of events like this can be felt all the harder as we are not all together at this time. So we would ask you to reach out to one another and find the time for some shared kindness with people who you feel may be more affected by this.

We will continue to consider what concrete actions we can take in response, using the avenues and expertise available to us to see how best we can help and support people and to actively challenge discrimination.

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